“We need to replace the roof on the church. Then replace the wall paper, carpet, and test for mold.” I remember asking, “How long have we had these issues?” The answer was “since it was built”. Oh, my, that has been a while, apparently since the early ‘70’s.

I was about 3 months into my elected role as president of the church at the advanced age of 31. I had no idea where to go, so the church council discussed the problem. We asked experts to come in to evaluate and found that the fixes could be done, but the structure was not sound and more issues were guaranteed. Next, we asked for an evaluation on removing the church and rebuilding and then requested an estimate on “off-site” building of a new church. Then we brought it to the congregation in an open meeting. The discussion was:

“Where do we go from here?”

Honestly, I didn’t really know. I am not an expert on church replacement. So, we brought in experts. We discussed the expert feedback with the congregation and we made a decision.

During the professional consultations, I privately asked a lot of questions of my colleagues, they were able to describe what HVAC, R value, and other building essentials were described to me. Having people in my life that understood this world was very helpful. To this day I think about all of the people who have shared their expertise with me, and WOW! Am I blessed!! (BTW – the questions have continued).

Sometimes, it seems that asking for help or outside opinion may be seen as a sign of weakness. I have experienced only the opposite. I ask for help, a lot, I also freely help out when asked. Having the courage and confidence to identify your own strengths and recognizing the strengths of others, and asking for help, is key for productive, healthy outcomes and work environments.

I appreciate the expertise of those that I work with professionally and those I engage with for non-profit work. If you receive a note from me that says “let’s connect” or “help” or “let’s brainstorm” – that means you are the expert and I am hoping you will share your strengths zone with me. These are precious collaborative moments and result in some of the best work that I do (actually we do). Additionally, I just started “crowdsourcing” and found the opportunity to explore is so much more fun when recommendations come from a large group of friends. Thank you!!

My challenge for you: Identify a big issue in your life – and ask for help. There are a lot of ‘strengths rich’ people out there who can help!


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